The Prince of This World
The Scriptures reveal that there are spiritual authorities behind the human authorities mankind recognizes on the earth. These spiritual forces remain largely hidden, concealed even to the knowledge of most Christian men and women. Like puppet masters in a skillfully executed play, these angelic rulers control the drama taking place on earth from behind the scenes. Luke, the evangelist, tells us of the encounter between Christ and Satan in the wilderness at the very start of Yahshua’s ministry.
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "All this domain I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." And Yahshua answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'"
It is noteworthy that Christ did not accuse Satan of lying. He did not declare that the devil had no authority over the nations, or that the kingdoms of this world were not his to give. Yahshua did not dispute Satan’s power and authority over this world at all. The Son of God’s rebuke was occasioned only by the unrighteousness of suggesting that He should bow before the creature, rather than the Creator. In numerous places throughout the gospels, we observe Christ affirming that Satan has been given ruling authority over the world.
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Repeatedly, Yahshua referred to Satan as “the prince of this world.” In the Greek language in which the New Testament was originally written, the word that appears in English as “prince” is “archon.” This Greek word means to be first in rank, or place. Christ was testifying that Satan occupies the chief seat of authority over this world. A question that should be answered is “How did Satan come to receive this authority?”
Some have proposed that Satan gained this authority over the world when Adam yielded his will in obedience to the serpent in the garden of Eden. There is some truth to this. In the following words, the apostle Paul declares a spiritual principle that is at work in the creation.
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey...
When Adam chose to obey Satan rather than God, he consigned himself, and all who would be born of his seed, to subjugation to Satan. Yahweh had given to man sovereign authority over the earth. The terrestrial world with all that grew out of its soil, all that moved upon its surface, all that swam in the seas, and all that flew in the heavens, was placed under the authority of man.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Then Yahweh God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.
This world was placed under the dominion of the man. Yet man did not keep it. By yielding himself to obey the beast, rather than subduing the beast and ruling over it, man came to be ruled by another. Adam’s sovereignty over this world was forfeit. Adam became a slave to sin, and the creation fell under the curse of sin and death. The Bible tells us that Satan holds the power of death, and by exercise of this power he has held humanity captive through fear.
Since then the children share in flesh and blood, [Yahshua] likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who has the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.
Some Bible translations render this statement in the past tense as if to say that Satan “had” the power of death. In the Greek, however, the word denotes a present, ongoing, action. Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible provides the following interpretation.
That through death he might destroy him having the power of death - that is, the devil...
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose. But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better; yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.
The Christian who has lived their life in obedience to God, pursuing a course of righteousness in this world, has nothing to fear in death. Indeed, the person who has lived their life as an overcomer in Christ has much to look forward to.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us.
In Hebrews 2:14, where it speaks of Satan having the power of death, the Greek word translated as “power” is “kratos.” E.W. Bullinger, in The Companion Study Bible, defines “kratos” in the following manner.
Kratos=strength (as exerted); power put forth with effect, and in government: from which we have the English [word] theocracy, government by God; aristocracy, government by the best; democracy, government by the people.
The “cracy” portion of each of these English words is derived from the Greek “kratos.” We see in each of these words there is a relationship to government and authority. Satan has the governmental authority of death on this planet. I do not say that he has authority of “life and death,” for Satan is not a life-giver. He can only destroy that which God has animated and imbued with life.
Satan’s power to enslave men is closely related to his authority to take life away from humanity. This power is broken in Christ, for Yahshua demonstrated that death is not an end. What Satan kills, God is able to animate again. The Son of God though slain, rose again to newness of life, a life that Satan can nevermore touch.
“And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.”
The grave could not hold the Son of God. Neither can it hold those who are born again of Christ’s seed. Though it is appointed to all men “once to die,” the Christian has the great hope of being raised again to an immortal life.
I Corinthians 15:52-57
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Yahshua Christ.
If Adam had not sinned in the garden, presenting himself to obedience to Satan, he would not have known death and Satan would not hold the power of death over mankind. Yahweh warned Adam not to eat of the forbidden fruit:
“For in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”
There is a popular song by the singer Billy Joel that states, “Only the good die young.” This is not true in an absolute sense, but it does seem this way at times. In this age we see that wicked men are given the rule, wealth, fame, and glory of this world. Satan rewards those who are his servants by giving them those material things that pertain to this terrestrial realm. King Solomon lamented about the unfairness of life, for it seemed that the wicked prospered, while the righteous suffered.
I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.
Asaph, a Levite and singer in the time of King David, also pondered this phenomena. It seemed an evil thing to him that the wicked should prosper in this world while the righteous should be afflicted.
For I was envious of the arrogant, as I saw the prosperity of the wicked. For there are no pains in their death; And their body is fat. They are not in trouble as other men; Nor are they plagued like mankind. Therefore pride is their necklace; The garment of violence covers them. Their eye bulges from fatness; The imaginations of their heart run riot. They mock, and wickedly speak of oppression; They speak from on high. They have set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue parades through the earth... And they say, "How does God know? And is there knowledge with the Most High?" Behold, these are the wicked; And always at ease, they have increased in wealth. Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure, and washed my hands in innocence; For I have been stricken all day long, and chastened every morning... When I pondered to understand this, it was troublesome in my sight.
This world is truly an unjust place, for it is ruled over by the prince of darkness. He has corrupted all his ways. He rewards those who are wicked while persecuting the righteous. Such is the perverted condition of spiritual rule in this world that the apostle Paul declared, “If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied” (I Corinthians 15:19). Paul knew much of suffering and injustice. He was frequently delivered over to punishments by the rulers of the nations, men who were given power by the prince of this world. Even as Pilate derived his authority from Satan to crucify Christ, so too did those who beat, scourged, and imprisoned the apostle Paul derive their authority from Satan. Yet, of this world authority this same apostle declares an astounding truth.
Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
The apostle goes on to describe the purpose for which governors are given authority by God.
Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.
Yahweh has ordained authority to encourage the righteous and to punish the wicked. We know, however, that the rulers of this world frequently do just the opposite. Each ruler will give an account for the manner in which he exercised his authority. If they have upheld justice and righteousness they will receive praise from Yahweh. If they have acted corruptly, they will be punished. Nevertheless, they remain God’s authority until such a time as Yahweh deposes them.
Accepting that these words of the apostle are true, it must be conceded that Satan’s authority over this world is established by God. This is what I testified in an earlier chapter when I compared the career of King Saul to that of Satan. It was Yahweh who instructed the prophet Samuel to pour the oil of anointing over the head of Saul and declare him to be the first king of Israel. Saul was established by God. His authority existed because Yahweh had ordained it.
We observed that Saul’s authority did not end when he began to act wickedly. Out of jealousy Saul attempted to kill David on multiple occasions. Saul slaughtered an entire village of priests. Saul took the wife of David and gave her to another man. Saul consulted with a medium. Saul failed to carry out the commandments of Yahweh when he was instructed to destroy a wicked people and all they possessed. Nevertheless, in the very midst of Saul’s career of evil, David refused to lift his hand against Saul, for he recognized him as God’s anointed.
This is a profound matter, and one that few Christians understand today. Satan occupies a position of authority that is not only recognized by God, but that was granted to him by God. Satan’s authority is not solely the result of Adam bowing to him. Satan has been from the beginning an anointed cherub. He was created to occupy a very high office and has been entrusted with great authority. I do not doubt that the specific authority Yahweh entrusted to Satan pertained to his rule over the earth long before the time of Adam. (I will provide some scriptural evidence of this momentarily.)
Mankind knows very little of Satan’s career before he became conceited and fell into sin. Humanity’s first encounter with this anointed cherub was in the garden of Eden when he approached the man and the woman through the persona of the serpent. At that time Satan had already corrupted his ways. He came to tempt the man and woman to turn away from obedience to God and to transgress Yahweh’s commandment.
Although Satan seeks to masquerade as an angel of light, and his human servants disguise themselves as workers of righteousness, his rule is one of darkness and evil. Nevertheless, Satan’s rule and authority continues by the will of God. Like King Saul after judgment was pronounced upon him by the prophet Samuel, Satan stands condemned and the just reward for his evil deeds is assured. At this time the judgment has not yet been executed. Satan continues in his evil reign, promoting rebellion against God, rewarding wickedness, and persecuting the righteous. He knows, however, that the day of judgment is fast approaching. Seeing that his time is shortened, Satan’s vehemence is stirred to a greater rebellion against Yahweh, and his wrath is directed toward those who are servants of righteousness.
Revelation 12:12, 17
Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time... And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Yahshua.
Do we not see in the governments of this world that the righteous are oppressed? Even in America, there is a growing antipathy toward those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Yahshua. We are seeing Christian business owners characterized as bigots, and haters, because they agree with God that marriage is to be between a man and a woman and that homosexuality is sin. Similarly, those who defend life in the womb are labeled as radicals and placed on government watch lists.
Most Christians are blind to the ruling power behind the wicked policies of human governments. Many in America see nothing beyond the man who sits in the White House. They do not perceive that this man is the chosen servant of Satan, for it is Satan who gives the nations of the world to those whom he pleases.
And the dragon (Satan, the devil) gave him his power and his throne and great authority.
It was shown in that writing that every government building in Washington, D.C. was initiated with a Masonic cornerstone laying ceremony. This involved, in every instance as far back as George Washington, the offering of corn, oil, and wine, following the pattern of the Baal offerings of the Old Testament.
For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.
The capital of the nation, Washington, D.C., was laid out according to occult designs by Freemasons. The White House, the home of the President, is located with specific design to show forth the Luciferian control of the nation and the influence of Freemasonry as its guiding light.
Note that the bottom point of the pentagram rests upon the White House. Thirteen blocks above the White House is the House of the Temple, the headquarters of Freemasonry in all of North America. When one sees that this pentagram is actually a representation of Satan, they can discern the darkness of the governmental system in America.
As the students of the Scriptures read over these two passages they observe that some things are plainly written of a human ruler. Other things are written of an angelic power. Then there are statements that apply equally to both. Some have erred by focusing on the statements that pertain to man and concluding that these passages have nothing to say of Satan. Others err in the other direction. As Christians we are admonished to “rightly divide the word of truth.”
It is actually a common feature of Hebrew poetry for a single passage to alternate between the subjects of its speech without giving any notice that a change has taken place. We find this occurring in some of the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, such as the following.
To the Chief Musician. Set to "The Deer of the Dawn." A Psalm of David.
My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent. But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them. They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed. But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people. All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!” But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother's breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb you have been My God. Be not far from Me, for trouble is near; For there is none to help. Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. They gape at Me with their mouths, like a raging and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.
There are portions of this Psalm of David that stand as the testimony of David. When David writes, “Our fathers trusted you; They trusted, and you delivered them,” he is writing that which is true of his own experience and that of his forebears. Yet this Psalm switches back and forth between that which pertains to David, and that which pertains to the promised Messiah who would one day appear. There are things in this Psalm that David never experienced, but which pertain clearly to the Son of God. It was on the cross that Yahshua uttered the words, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me!” While Yahshua was being crucified, the priests and rulers of the people jeered and said, “He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him!” The Roman soldiers divided Christ’s garments between them, and for His clothing they cast lots. These are things that David never experienced.
When reading the passages from Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 we must make similar distinctions. Some parts pertain to a man, some to Satan, and some can be applied equally to both. It should not be surprising that even as David was King in Jerusalem and served as a type of Christ, that the King of Babylon should serve as a type of Satan. Zion and Babylon have always stood as opposites. The former represents the rule of God while the latter the rule of Satan. Even as David patiently endured much suffering while looking forward in faith to the promises of God, demonstrating much of the character of the Son of God, so too did the proud, cruel rulers of Tyre and Babylon demonstrate much of the character of Satan.
As you read through the following passage of Scripture, see if you can identify that which pertains to man, that which pertains to an angelic being, and those statements that might equally apply to both.
The word of Yahweh came again to me saying, “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, ‘Thus says Yahweh God, “Because your heart is lifted up and you have said, ‘I am a god, I sit in the seat of gods, in the heart of the seas’; Yet you are a man and not God, although you make your heart like the heart of God - Behold, you are wiser than Daniel; There is no secret that is a match for you. By your wisdom and understanding you have acquired riches for yourself, and have acquired gold and silver for your treasuries. By your great wisdom, by your trade you have increased your riches, and your heart is lifted up because of your riches - Therefore, thus says Yahweh God, ‘Because you have made your heart like the heart of God, therefore, behold, I will bring strangers upon you, the most ruthless of the nations. And they will draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom and defile your splendor. They will bring you down to the pit, and you will die the death of those who are slain in the heart of the seas. Will you still say, “I am a god,” in the presence of your slayer, although you are a man and not God, in the hands of those who wound you? You will die the death of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers, for I have spoken!’ declares Yahweh God!”’”
Again the word of Yahweh came to me saying, “Son of man, take up a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says Yahweh God, “You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked in the midst of the stones of fire. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, until unrighteousness was found in you. By the abundance of your trade (or slander) you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; Therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you. By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade (or slander), you profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; It has consumed you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth in the eyes of all who see you. All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; You have become terrified, and you will be no more.”’”
In this prophecy of Ezekiel there is a line of demarcation that occurs at the phrase “Again the word of Yahweh came to me saying.” That which precedes this line is obviously written of a human ruler, while that which follows this line is written of an angelic ruler. There are portions of both passages that could apply to man and angel, for the character of these rulers was the same. Nevertheless, we see that the first portion of the prophecy identifies a man.
“you are a man and not God... Will you still say, “I am a god,” in the presence of your slayer, although you are a man and not God?”
In the latter portion of this passage we see that a heavenly being is the focus of the prophecy.
“You were the anointed cherub who covers... I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.”
There are statements recorded in the latter passage that cause some to stumble, for there are things spoken of this anointed cherub that we see recorded nowhere else in the Bible. When was Satan cast to the ground and put before kings? When did God turn Satan to ashes in the eyes of all who see him, and when were the people appalled upon seeing Satan judged? From the time of Adam’s creation we do not find any record of Satan being judged in this manner.
There are some Bible scholars who believe these phrases refer to Satan’s appearance upon the original earth that pre-dated Adam. Some have suggested that the first earth was in many ways like the re-created earth in which Adam was placed. There was on the earth a pre-Adamic race. There was a wide variety of animals that dwelt on the land, in the seas, and flew in the air, among which were the dinosaurs whose fossils are found throughout the planet. There was even a garden of Eden on that original earth. All of these things perished when Satan rebelled against Yahweh and warfare ensued in the heavens. It is further suggested that Satan subverted some members of this pre-Adamic race, while conquering others. This would explain statements such as the following lines from Isaiah 14.
How the oppressor has ceased, and how fury has ceased!
Yahweh has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of rulers which used to strike the peoples in fury with unceasing strokes, which subdued the nations in anger with unrestrained persecution.
You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations!
Those who see you will gaze at you, they will ponder over you, saying, “Is this the one who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who did not allow his prisoners to go home?”
This passage from Isaiah is addressed to “the king of Babylon,” yet there are portions of it that could not be applied to a human ruler. In the midst of this prophecy we find the following words:
How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, you who have weakened the nations! But you said in your heart, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God, and I will sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”
I do not believe it is wise to be dogmatic about these matters, for when we make mention of the pre-Adamic earth we find that the Bible does not speak explicitly, or in great depth, of these things. We are left to discern what we can from the often enigmatic proclamations of prophets and seers. Nevertheless, there are some things that we can accurately deduce from the testimony of the Scriptures. We know that the angels were created prior to the earth being formed, for we are told that “the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy” when God laid its foundations (Job 38:7). We know that Satan fell prior to mankind being created, for his first appearance to man in the garden of Eden is as a cunning deceiver.
It is also right to reconsider some orthodox beliefs. We should ask where demons, or unclean spirits come from. It is often assumed by Christians that demons are fallen angels, but we must ask whether this is true. Watchman Nee in The Mystery of Creation, and G.H. Pember in Earth’s Earliest Ages, suggest that demons are members of a pre-Adamic race on the original earth who joined with Satan in his rebellion. When Yahweh judged these rebellious creatures, their punishment was that they were disembodied. That is to say, their flesh was destroyed and they were left as wandering spirits without a home. This is a great source of vexation to these creatures, which explains why demons are always seeking another body to inhabit.
“Now when the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came’; and when it comes, it finds it unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes, and takes along with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”
When Christ cast out the legion of demons from the man at Gadara, the demons begged permission to enter into a herd of swine. To be left without a body to inhabit is unbearable to them.
These same men argue that angels, including fallen ones, have their own bodies and do not need to inhabit others. They may do so on special occasions at need, such as when Satan entered Judas, or when he appeared to Adam and Eve in the form of the serpent, but we read elsewhere that Satan and his angels have their own ethereal bodies. The fallen angels are able to take on human form and cohabit with women as recorded in the sixth chapter of Genesis. That angels can assume human form is revealed in numerous places throughout the Bible. In Genesis we read of the angels Yahweh sent to Sodom and Gomorrah, and how they were mistaken as men so that the Sodomites wanted to have sexual relations with them. In the New Testament the apostle Paul writes:
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.
The angel Gabriel spoke of angelic members of Satan’s forces withstanding him in the book of Daniel. We read of Satan appearing before Christ in the wilderness and tempting Him. We also read of Satan and his angels warring with the archangel Michael and his angels in the book of Revelation. Satan and his angels have their own bodies, and are able to appear as men in the same way as the holy angels. A case could be made that demons, also referred to as unclean spirits, are quite distinct from fallen angels.
Where many have likely become confused in conflating Satan and his fallen angels with demons is that in many of our popular English Bibles, the Greek words “diabolos” and “daimon” are both translated as “devil” or their plural form as “devils.” These are very different Greek words. A careful study of these words will also show that diabolos is ALWAYS used as a reference to Satan, and is NEVER used as a reference to an unclean spirit. Similarly “daimon” is ALWAYS used as a reference to a demon, or unclean spirit, and is NEVER used as a reference to Satan, or to a fallen angel. By rendering both of these words into English as “devil(s)” confusion has resulted.
I have tested the claim that angels and demons are separate entities. I have looked up every reference to the Greek words for angels, devils, demons, and unclean spirits and I have not found a single instance that would demonstrate that fallen angels and demons are the same thing. Furthermore, the Bible speaks much of the appearance of angels, both in the heavens and on earth, but it never speaks of demons as being visible. Demons are always described as spirits whose presence can be discerned only through their activity.
These facts lend credibility to the suggestion that demons are members of a pre-Adamic race that were disembodied as punishment for their rebellion against God. Nevertheless, there is very little evidence to substantiate this matter, and I do not deem it prudent to speak confidently about such things.
There is other evidence and additional arguments presented in favor of the view that Satan was originally given dominion of the first earth, and that it was here that he appeared in his glorious array as a holy angel before his fall.
“Thus says Yahweh God, ‘You had the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz, and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx, and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise, and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, was in you. On the day that you were created they were prepared. You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there.’”
Satan’s first appearance to Adam and Eve in the garden is as the serpent. He had already fallen into sin and taken on a heart of rebellion at that time. It is therefore the conclusion of some that the description above given by the prophet Ezekiel pertains to the original earth and the original garden, both of which were made “formless and void and covered in darkness” when Yahweh judged the first rebels. The earth lay in this calamitous state for an unspecified period of time until God began to re-create that which had been destroyed.
Some do not understand why God would permit Satan to be loosed after he had already proven himself to be a rebel. Yet, the Bible tells us that God will do so again in the future. He will cast Satan down and imprison him for a season, but then the devil will be loosed again whereupon he will immediately set about leading the nations in rebellion against Yahweh.
And when the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war.
That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one might say, "See this, it is new"? Already it has existed for ages which were before us. There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, there will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still.
At the beginning of this chapter we asked how Satan came to gain authority over this earth. Why does this “anointed cherub” have authority over the kingdoms of this earth? It seems probable that this world was placed under Satan’s dominion from ages long past, before he fell into sin. Even as Saul was anointed as the first king of Israel, it is possible that Satan was appointed as the first regent of the earth, and that like Saul, his appointment preceded his transgression.
Satan’s fall into sin and rebellion has had a devastating effect upon this globe. Nevertheless, Yahweh has borne patiently with the injustice and wickedness of the prince of this world. In His mercy and grace, God has provided for the redemption of mankind, as well as for the creation to be set free from its slavery to corruption. Yahweh has entrusted to His firstborn Son the responsibility of reconciling all things, whether in heaven or on earth, back to Himself (Colossians 1:20). Yahshua came to destroy the works of the devil (I John 3:8). Christ’s reign will be complete when He has rectified all the evil and wickedness of Satan, restoring the creation to a perfect harmony with its Creator (I Corinthians 15:25-28).
The rebellion of Satan against God began in former ages, ages concerning which Yahweh has given us scant information. The restoration of all things will not be complete until more ages have past.
Just before Christ’s crucifixion there was a remarkable exchange of words between the Father and the Son.
“Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” There came therefore a voice out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The multitude therefore, who stood by and heard it, were saying that it had thundered; others were saying, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Yahshua answered and said, “This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes. Now judgment is upon this world; now the prince of this world shall be cast out.”
The Scriptures paint a picture of a world that has long been under the dominion of the prince of this world. Even as Absalom, the beautiful son of King David slandered his father in an attempt to wrest the rule of the kingdom to himself, Satan has slandered Yahweh. Satan, as a covering cherub should have glorified the name of Yahweh, but he has done just the opposite. We are promised, however, that the name of Yahweh will be glorified once again.
Perhaps in David’s reaction to the transgression of Absalom we may gain some insight into the heart of God. David wept grievously when it was told to him that his son had been slain. David knew that his son was a rebel. He knew his son had defiled his wives openly. David knew that Absalom had slandered his reputation and spoken falsely to others. Nevertheless, David experienced deep grief at the death of his son.
The prophet Ezekiel, who has given us so much information about this fallen cherub who rules over this world, has also recorded for us the following words of God.
“Say to them, ‘As I live!'’declares Yahweh God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die?’”
Surely David manifested the heart of God when it was reported to him that King Saul, Saul’s sons, and his servants, were slain on Mount Gilboa. Although Saul was an oppressor of the people, a persecutor of the righteous, a man given to great selfishness and jealousy; although Yahweh had pronounced judgment upon him, the words of the prophet Ezekiel are true. Yahweh took no pleasure in Saul’s death. It was a righteous thing for David to lament the fall of this once great king.
II Samuel 1:17-27
Then David chanted with this lament over Saul and Jonathan his son, and he told them to teach the sons of Judah the song of the bow; behold, it is written in the book of Jashar. "Your beauty, O Israel, is slain on your high places! How have the mighty fallen! Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon; Lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exult. O mountains of Gilboa, let not dew or rain be on you, nor fields of offerings; For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul, not anointed with oil. From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, and the sword of Saul did not return empty. Saul and Jonathan, beloved and pleasant in their life, and in their death they were not parted; They were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet, who put ornaments of gold on your apparel. How have the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan is slain on your high places. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; You have been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was more wonderful than the love of women. How have the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!"
If you have ever known a son or a daughter who once walked in righteousness, a child whose life was pleasant to you, yet this child turned aside to wickedness and great evil, you will realize that there is no pleasure in seeing judgment executed upon them. You may bear long with them, hoping that they will repent. They may be beaten with many stripes in hope that they will turn away from evil. When all attempts at reconciliation have been exhausted, and nothing remains but to hand the child over to death, there can be only grief in the heart of the parent. Bitterly did David weep for Absalom.
II Samuel 18:33
And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said as he walked, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
Surely it must be a source of grief to Yahweh to observe this glorious cherub, once full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, fall into such darkness. Heaven undoubtedly mourns that one who occupied such a high office, being blameless from the day he was created, should fall into such great iniquity, to behave as a rebel and a slanderer toward the holy Creator.
Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws
Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063